Beijing enveloped in eye-watering smog in second red alert of month

Beijing was enveloped in eye-watering, throat-irritating smog on Saturday as the second red alert of the month went into effect in the Chinese capital, forcing many cars off the roads and restricting factory production.

See Full Article

A wave of smog settled over the notoriously polluted city of 22.5 million overnight and is forecast to last into Tuesday because of a lack of strong winds.

Smog red alerts, the most serious in a four-tier warning system, are triggered when high pollution levels are forecast to last more than 72 hours.

Levels of PM2.5, the smallest and deadliest airborne particles, rose as high as 303 in some parts of Beijing on Saturday and are predicted to top 500 in coming days. That's more than 20 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.

As a result of the red alert, schools were ordered closed and half the city's cars forced off the roads each day. Barbecue grills and other outdoor smoke sources have been banned and factory production restricted.

While some balked at the inconveniences, most Beijingers appeared to support the measures after a lengthy stretch when the government was seen as largely ignoring the smog problem.

"I think (the government) is doing a better job than before," Beijing resident Ma Yunan said. "In previous times, the government would not issue red alerts even when the haze was very serious. Now they are publishing alerts beforehand for us to get ourselves prepared and the alerts are accompanied with some measures."

Although the smog warning system was launched two years ago, Beijing had not issued a red alert until Dec. 7, drawing accusations that it was ignoring serious bouts of smog to avoid the economic costs.

The smog in Beijing is largely blamed on coal burning power plants, industrial pollution and the booming number of vehicles. The city's geography worsens the problem because mountains on three sides trap smog, and cold winter air presses down on it to keep it from clearing.

While waiting for promised plans to cut coal pollution to take effect, residents of Beijing and other polluted cities in northern China adapt by wearing face masks and equipping their homes with air filters.

China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, plans to reduce hazardous emissions from coal-fired power plants by 50 per cent over the next five years, and says its overall emissions will peak by about 2030 before starting to decline.

Scientific studies attribute 1.4 million premature deaths per year to China's smog, or almost 4,000 per day.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Woman, 50 facing charges in elder abuse investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    WARWICK TOWNSHIP, Ont. -- Provincial police say a 50-year-old woman is charged in an elder abuse investigation. They say officers went to a Warwick Township, Ont., home on Thursday to assist health-care workers check on the well-being of a resident. Source
  • B.C. responds to lawsuit over fees to welfare recipients for methadone treatment

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The British Columbia government says it has done nothing wrong by redirecting money from the income-assistance cheques of recovering heroin addicts to pay private methadone-dispensing clinics for treatment. In documents filed in B.C. Source
  • Former Afghan warlord Hekmatyar says he wants peace

    World News CTV News
    KABUL -- A former Afghan warlord who battled U.S. forces after the 2001 invasion and nursed bitter rivalries with other militant factions before signing a peace deal with the Afghan government appeared in public for the first time in more than 20 years on Saturday and called for peace. Source
  • Austria calls for new EU relationship with Turkey

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern says Turkey should not be allowed to join the European Union, with membership talks between the EU and Ankara at a standstill. Kern told reporters in Brussels Saturday that "we have to bring our relations to Turkey into new order. Source
  • Berlusconi treated with stitches after fall

    World News CTV News
    MILAN -- Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been treated by a doctor after tripping on a carpet and hitting his head in a fall in his villa in Portofino on the Ligurian coast. The news agency ANSA reported Saturday that the 80-year-old, three-time former premier returned to Milan for treatment at the Madonnina clinic, where he received three stitches. Source
  • Thai family mourns girl killed in video streamed on Facebook

    World News CTV News
    Chiranut Trairat, (second from left) mother of an 11-month-old baby girl, stands next to her daughter's portrait before her funeral in Phuket, Thailand, Saturday, April 29, 2017. Her distraught husband hanged their daughter on social media website Facebook Live and then killed himself, police said. Source
  • Moscow demonstrators want to tell Putin: Don't run again

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Several hundred demonstrators are gathered in a Moscow park, trying to move to the nearby presidential administration building to present letters calling on President Vladimir Putin not to run for a fourth term in office in 2018. Source
  • EU leaders say they stand united ahead of Brexit talks

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- European Union leaders are set to acknowledge on Saturday that Northern Ireland could join the bloc in the future if its people vote to unite with EU member state Ireland, officials said Friday. Source
  • Trump to spend Day 100 in office talking tough on trade

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump is marking his 100th day in office by talking tough on trade. Trump's first 100 days in office: Day-by-day highlights The White House says the president will sign an executive order Saturday that will direct his Commerce Department and the U.S. Source
  • EU leaders meet to set terms for Brexit negotiations

    World News CBC News
    European Union leaders will endorse a stiff set of divorce terms for Britain at a summit on Saturday, rejoicing in a rare show of unity in adversity, but well aware that may start to fray once negotiations begin. Source